Ham is an essential part of many springtime celebrations. But baking a perfectly moist and flavorful ham can be tricky. The key to a good ham is cooking it properly and avoiding common mistakes that can dry out the meat. Here are 5 common pitfalls you should avoid.
Don’t Glaze Too Early
You may be tempted to glaze your Easter Ham when it comes out of the oven. This is a mistake. The sugars in the glaze will burn if you add it too early. This is why it’s best to glaze your ham 15-30 minutes before you take it out of the oven. The extra time you give your ham to cook low and slow will result in a more flavorful meat that isn’t dried out. Scoring the ham before you apply the glaze will also help it absorb flavors better.
The best way to keep your ham moist is to roast it at a low temperature for the entire baking time. This will ensure that the ham is cooked through without drying it out. It is also important to allow your ham to rest for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven. This allows the juices to penetrate the ham and give it that extra special flavor. You should use a probe thermometer to monitor your ham’s internal temperature when it is in the oven. This will make sure it doesn’t cook past the recommended 145 degrees, which can cause it to dry out.
Don’t Score Too Deep
Scoring a ham is a simple prep technique that creates grooves in the surface of the meat, allowing a glaze to seep into the ham and flavor it throughout. It’s a great idea, but you should only score the surface of the ham about 1/4-inch deep to avoid drying it out during cooking. Using a chef’s knife, make shallow cuts through the skin and first layers of fat every inch or so in a diamond pattern. Some people also insert whole cloves where the cuts intersect for flavor and a decorative touch.
Don’t Remove The Ham From The Oven Too Early
Using a thermometer can help you determine if your ham is fully cooked. Generally, you’ll want to remove it from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. However, removing it from the oven too early can result in the ham drying out. That’s why it is best to leave it in the oven for the last 30 minutes of baking time. You can also glaze your ham during the last 30 minutes of baking so it can seep into the rind for extra flavor. Don’t apply the glaze too early, though, or it may burn and ruin your ham.
Don’t Drown Your Ham In Wet Sauces
When you glaze your ham, the best time to do so is during the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking. If you put the glaze on too early, it will burn before the meat is fully cooked and tender. If you want to thicken your glazed ham, try adding a slurry. This is a mixture of water and cornstarch that you whisk together before adding to your sauce.
Categorised in: Deli Ham
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